Monday, October 17, 2011

Biggest Dust Storm for Lubbock in Decades!

I could not believe what was about to strike us - a huge, old fashion Dust Storm. One that I have not seen since the late 1970s. In my younger days (i.e the 1960s-70s), I remember these big brown dust storms - but never lived through one that turned the sky literally 'black.' I remembered my parents telling me about that part of the dust storms from the 1930s.

Looking out one of the garage doors at Ricky's Auto Repair this afternoon, I was amazed. We had to close the doors and get everyone inside before the dust storm hit.

A strong cold front hit Lubbock county about 6pm. Visibility dropped down to between zero to less than a quarter of a mile. That zero visibility at the garage lasted about 2-3 minutes. Wind gusts as high as 74 mph.

The FAA had to evacuate the control tower at Lubbock International Airport and air traffic was directed from a backup control cneter on the ground floor.

Trees were toppled, roofs lost shingles. Rail road crossing gates bent. A small cargo plane was overturned at the airport.

The dust cloud was a by-product of the persistent drought in West Texas. Back on October 6th, the National Weather Service in Lubbock reported that there was a "high likelihood" that 2011 could be the driest on record across the South Plains.

With this blog post are some images that I took with my cell phone camera.

1. "Dust storm roils through Texas South Plains" October 17, 2011. ( ***Yes, the article's title was mispelled by AP.

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